It’s getting to be that time of the year to deal with the bear necessities.
Yes, bears are being spotted in many places these days. Some of them make the news, or disrupt the kids in their classes. More barrage neighbourhood social media networks from Port Alice to Saanich.
Judging from Facebook that lights up every time one is seen, you’d think it was something that rarely happens. But, believe it or not, there are a lot of bears out there and it’s no big deal. Leave them alone and they’ll go home.
For goodness sake, don’t pull out your phone and try to photograph them when they’re in your sights. And, of course, do not feed them.
Bears and humans have coexisted for generations, but it seems a lot more complicated today because people continually act inappropriately.
Continued human intervention has become the bane of bears’ existence. Stupidity has led to many being put down unnecessarily and, make no mistake about it, conservation officers will put them down if they’re deemed to be a public threat. It doesn’t have to be like that.
The biggest thing is not to leave garbage lying around that will attract bears. And, it’s hard to understand, we know, but you do not have to put your garbage on the curbside the night before collection. It can be done in the morning.
That enticement has been proven to draw the attention of bears in many locations around the Island and particularly on the Lower Mainland where population is increasingly encroaching on habitat.
B.C. conservation officers are warning the public not to leave food out ahead of bears’ foraging season. Officers will be conducting ‘attractant audits’ and ticketing violators of the B.C. Wildlife Act. Penalties can range up to $575.
The sleepy creatures will be out searching for food before the hibernation season. Leaving out your garbage, pet food or fallen fruit can lure bears and create a public safety risk.
Once the animals become food-conditioned and habituated, that’s when they are dangerous to the public and not considered good candidates for relocation.
Common sense needs to prevail. So let’s use it.